“I Tried to Stay Sober After Detox” and Why This Doesn’t Usually Work

Staying Sober After Detox

Deciding to give up alcohol or drugs is the first step toward recovery. If you’ve been through detox, you may be wondering why you can’t just stop here. Why do you have to spend additional time in a drug treatment center —a.k.a. ‘rehab’? Will it really make all that much of a difference?
Right now, you feel good.
Your head is pretty clear and you’re able to make the right choices to keep you on the path toward recovery.
…or are you?

What is Detox? (and Why It’s Only the First Step)

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA,) detoxification is considered to be palliative care for individuals who wish to become sober. Keyword here is palliative, which means ‘relieving pain without dealing with the cause of the condition.’

In other words, detox is just a small part of a big picture. Detox allows you to break free from the initial cycle that occurs when you’re using just to keep the horror of withdrawal away. After about a week of detox, many individuals (depending on the drug of choice) feel much better.

My initial trip to detox was due to alcoholism and honestly, after the 4th day, I was ready to take on the world. I left, completely optimistic, and certain that I wouldn’t return. In reality, it wasn’t even a month before I was drinking again. I floundered around for years, uncertain how to get the help I needed, and not even sure if I was too far gone to ever live a happy life again.

I vaguely remembered my case manager in detox telling me, “Detox is not rehab.”
I didn’t understand what that meant.
Today I do.

So, What Are You Missing?

When you attempt to use detox as a stand alone solution to overcoming addiction, you don’t receive any of the real help that will change your mindset or heal the root cause of the addiction. Without healing, you’re still operating out of that same broken place that led you to self-medicating in the first place.

Addiction treatment as the next step after detox will provide you with:

  • Trauma Therapy – To heal the root cause of addiction.
  • 12 Step Principles – To lead you into an awareness of the spiritual nature of addiction.
  • Meditation and Deep Breathing – A toolbox of exercises and mindfulness techniques to keep you focused on the present, and the things you have control over.
  • Self Forgiveness – The first step after admitting you have a problem that is so much bigger than yourself is to release yourself from the weight of shame and guilt over the things you’ve said, done or caused while operating in active addiction. This is a big one and it does take time.
  • EMDR – A psychotherapy treatment created to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories .
  • Recovery Nutrition – Amino acids are the building blocks for all of the feelings of well being in your body, like serotonin and dopamine. By choosing a diet that is low in sugar, high in amino acids and protein, you can set your brain up for successful brain repair. This is important for lowering anxiety and improving mental clarity and overall feelings of well being.
  • Making Amends – Your inner healing and work during addiction treatment will involve coming to terms with the damage caused as a direct result of your unhealthy state during active addiction. You’ll be able to look at this damage with a readiness to ask for forgiveness and an attempt to make amends. This becomes a beautiful time of freedom for you, and it allows the people in your life to gain their own closure as well.

You Don’t Have to Relapse

Research conducted by the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse shows that a slow detoxification process, paired with long-term recovery treatment and a motivation to succeed greatly increases the likelihood of long-lasting sobriety.

Long-term sobriety requires a long-term commitment that begins with addiction treatment. While detox may be the first step, it shouldn’t be your last. To find out more about what it takes to maintain your sobriety after detox, call Gracious Care Recovery Solutions.

Call now to learn more.